Student Library Research Award

The Wellesley College Friends of the Library have generously donated funds establishing an award to recognize outstanding library research papers/projects by undergraduates in any discipline.

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  • One $300 award for a paper or project of any length from a 100- or 200-level Wellesley College course
  • One $300 award for a paper or project in any course from a First Year student
  • One $750 award for a paper or project of any length from a 300-level Wellesley College course, excluding 350s, 360s, and 370s
  • One $750 award for a paper or project of any length from a Wellesley College individual or independent study (250s or 350s)


In this age of electronic information, research has become a more complicated process. Sources may be in paper or microfilm, on the Web, or in other electronic formats. Evaluating these sources takes increasing time and effort. This award was created to reward those students who take the time to develop a thoughtful, methodical, and scholarly approach to the research needed for their papers and projects, as well as to encourage students to develop good research techniques.


  • Current Wellesley College students registered for a Wellesley College course are eligible to submit. Individuals or teams may submit projects/papers and all class levels and all disciplines are eligible. To be eligible for an award, the work must have been completed for Wellesley College course credit.
  • Eligible papers/projects must have been completed during the previous calendar year. For the 2020 award, papers/projects must have been completed during Spring or Fall semester 2019. Each student or team may submit only one paper/project per award year. Each paper/project may only be submitted once.
  • All submissions must be accompanied by a letter of support from the faculty member who taught the course for which the paper/project is submitted. [FAQ for faculty].
  • Applicants must agree to give the Library permission to exhibit winning papers/projects in the Library. All application materials remain the property of the Library. Winning papers/projects will become part of the College Archives, and may be posted in the Wellesley College Institutional Repository.

Evaluation Criteria

Successful projects will:

  • Make extensive, creative use of diverse library resources and collections in any format.
  • Demonstrate effective application of information literacy and fluency principles:
  • Determining information needs
  • Evaluating and analyzing information
  • Managing, organizing, and synthesizing information
  • Applying information in the context of the research project
  • Making responsible use of information by providing appropriate and accurate citations and credits
  • Show evidence of significant personal knowledge in the methods of research and inquiry.

Evaluation Committee

Submissions will be evaluated by a panel consisting of two faculty members, two librarians, and two members of the Friends of the Library Steering Committee.

Application Procedure

The online application may be completed here: Student Library Research Award Online Application. On the final page of the form, you will be prompted to upload your files for consideration (see below for a detailed list).

Applications will consist of:

  • A completed Student Library Research Award Application form [accessible at the Student Library Research Award Online Application page]
  • Letter of support from the supervising faculty member or instructor. [download faculty support cover sheet] These may be emailed to Karen Storz (x3372 /
  • A 500-750 word research strategy essay describing your research strategy, sources used, how your research skills developed, and how your research contributed to the quality of your paper/project. [essay tips]
  • A final version of the research project/paper submitted for credit or a letter grade, including your bibliography. This should be a "clean copy," NOT the graded copy with the professor's comments. 
  • A bibliography or other appropriate listing of sources consulted, if not submitted as a part of your final research project
  • For research papers in a language other than English, a 1-page English summary of your research paper must be included.
  • In some cases, additional materials may be submitted (images, video, audio files, etc.).

Application Deadline

The application deadline for the 2020 awards is 5:00pm, March 2, 2020. Applications will be accepted for the 2020 awards (for research papers/projects from Spring 2019 or Fall 2019) beginning January 29, 2020. 

Incomplete applications will not be accepted and late applications will not be considered. Applications are submitted digitally and will not be returned.

Projects that cannot be submitted digitally using the Student Library Research Award Online Application can be sent or hand delivered to Karen Storz, Clapp Library.

Special thanks to the following institutions whose library research award ideas we borrowed.